A Sea-drift of Songs

Sat Nov 21, 19:00 - Mon Nov 23, 09:00

Event is online


This show will be performed twice and livestreamed at 7PM (GMT+2) on the 21st & 22nd of November. Each day's stream will be available for viewing for 12hrs after the event ends. There is a walk through of the exhibition viewable in the link for 2 hours before the start of the show.

A Sea-drift of Songs is a reconstruction of the sound- and visual scapes of the AfroAsian worlds of the 13th century, as gathered by the Re-centring AfroAsia Project. It is an effort to reconstruct the laments and joys, the rhythms and plausible melodies of that time. It is also made up of stories – the stories of women in servitude who made up most of the musicality of that time. They are searching for ways back home when the brilliant city of Baghdad was torched by Mongolian-led forces in 1258. The magical world of the AfroAsian seas is reconstructed by travelogues of fabulist captains and seafarers. It is a world of gigantic birds that lift elephants sky high to drop them to their death, of gigantic crabs that fly – it is also a world of trade, of ambergris and ivory, of gold and silk, of giraffes and pearls…and of slaves. We are delighted to have an array of soloists from at least 7 vantage points of the known world: from Mapungubwe to Al Andalus and from Muziris to the Habeshi Highlands.

The AfroAsia Ensemble is a gathering of composers, writers, performers and visual artists from South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Turkey, Spain, India and China. It was originally formed as a response to an invitation by the Asia Art Archive to be part of its celebrations this year in Hong Kong. Its core is made up of some of the award-winning members of the Insurrections Ensemble, who've been featured as part of the project, and a new array of composers and performers who have been involved in aspects of the project’s work. Alas, COVID-19 has scuttled the possibility of its expanded performance. The Re-centring AfroAsia Project's annual conference has afforded an opportunity to have an 80-minute version of this pluri-medial work, though it will take place without the Indian maestros, who are unable to travel. 


Selamawit Aragaw, violin 

Mark Aranha, composition, guitars, dotara 

Brydon Bolton, composition, double-bass, electronica 

Thabo Bopape, film 

Bronwen Clacherty, composition, voice, vibraphone, percussion 

Sumangala Damodaran, composition, voice 

Kathyayini Dash, composition, voice, artwork, scenography 

Sazi Dlamini, composition, voice, guitars, bows, strings, winds 

Abhishek Dutta, film 

Somrita Umi Gangully, translations 

Halim Gencoglu, oud, tambur 

Pritam Ghosal, composition, sarod 

Luis Gimenez, composition, guitar, mbira 

Benjamin Haskins, animations, projections 

Rhoda Isaacs, stage management 

Jill Joubert, sculptures 

Nkosenathi Koela, bows, percussion, voice 

Reza Khota, composition, guitars 

Grasella Luigi, voice 

Tlale Makhene, percussion, voice 

Benignus Mbiro, percussion 

Masello Motana, voice 

Kristin NG-Yang, artwork 

Thania Petersen, curator of artwork 

Lungiswa Plaatjies, composition, voice, mbira, bows 

Karen Press, words 

Tina Schouw, composition, words, voice, guitar 

Ari Sitas, words, voice, scenography 

Cara Stacey, composition, keyboards, bows, winds, voice